The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D., today announced that Ireland has secured access for the export of pigmeat to Mexico.
Minister Creed stated, “I am very pleased that my Department’s work in collaboration with the Embassy of Ireland in Mexico, Bord Bia and other industry stakeholders has been rewarded with a successful outcome. Gaining access for pigmeat exports to Mexico highlights again the value of investing in strategic relationships in priority markets. Credit is due in particular to the Embassy of Ireland in Mexico, Ambassador Barbara Jones and my Department’s agricultural attaché in the Embassy, Gráinne Roughan, for their contribution.”
This achievement follows a number of important steps undertaken by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM), Bord Bia, and the Embassy of Ireland in Mexico, in cooperation with industry, over several years:
- In June 2017, Minister Creed led Ireland’s first ever trade mission to Mexico.
- In November 2018, the Mexican authorities inspected operational facilities and official controls at Irish processing plants and coldstores.
- Last year, DAFM seconded an agricultural attaché to the Irish Embassy in Mexico City, to support and develop the Embassy’s focus on agri-food trade opportunities and market access.
Mexico is a large consumer market, with a population of 120 million. Pork is highly regarded by consumers as a healthy source of protein and is consumed on a daily basis in a variety of dishes. According to Bord Bia, a growing import demand, which sees the market import in the region of 1 million tonnes of pigmeat annually, is driven by a growing middle class and greater urbanisation. Imports currently account for 38% of total pigmeat consumption, with further growth anticipated. The scale of these imports, makes Mexico the third largest global importer of pigmeat. Recent research by Bord Bia suggests that there will be opportunities for Irish pigmeat companies supplying frozen leg and shoulder products in particular.
Securing this access particularly in light of the recently agreed EU-Mexico Global Agreement which will significantly reduce tariff barriers to trade, will provide new export market opportunities for Irish pigmeat and the wider sector as it continues to respond to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Access to more non-EU markets should bolster the profile of Irish pigmeat products in international markets which were worth €275m, or 31% of the total value of Irish pigmeat exports in 2019.
Notes for Editors:
The Mexican authorities have now confirmed that the approved facilities (5 processing plants and 5 coldstores) fully meet their requirements for the export of frozen raw pork from Ireland to Mexico. Details of these facilities will be published in due course by the Mexican authorities.
Mexico was identified a priority market for Irish pigmeat in 2017 as part of the Market Prioritisation delivered by Bord Bia in conjunction with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
In 2020, Bord Bia successfully applied for EU promotional funding for a pork and poultry programme for both Mexico and China. This three year programme valued at €3.82m will commence in June and will focus on “European Pork and Poultry: Excellence in Quality Assurance and Food Safety” and will help support marketing activities that increase awareness levels and propensity to purchase Irish pigmeat products through a range of different initiatives such as trade shows, trade seminars, inward journalist and buyer visits over the next three years.